Bad beans, rocks and mud clots don't belong in a good meal. No matter where you buy dry beans, no matter how much you pay for them, never take for granted they are free of debris. Always, always sort through dry beans of any kind.
A dry bean qualifies as bad when it has any of the following: insect holes, broken or split, shriveled, or appears burned or unnaturally dark. The unnaturally dark beans typically will not cook tender and stand out after cooking. If you happen to miss one during sorting but catch it while cooking, discard it before serving.
A good bean is whole, plump not shriveled, and the skin is smooth. Good color is based on the variety of bean. As you sort through the variety, comparing one bean from another, the natural pattern and color of the bean should become apparent.
This best place I've found to sort beans is by sitting down at the table with a good light source. Have a container ready to hold all the good beans. Carefully pour out the beans onto the table in a pile in front of you. Pull a small handful of beans out of the pile, spread them out and play "seek and find". As you spot bad beans, rocks and mud clots, put them in a discard pile. Scoop up the sorted beans and place them in the good bean container. Reach for another small handful of beans and repeat the game of seek and find.
I hope you've found this post helpful. Be sure to share it with your fellow recipe hoarders in your favorite community.